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Buying Food

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Buying Food

Publication date 1950
Publisher Centron
Made for home economics class, this is a primer on sensible food shopping. We learn to read canned food labels and get a glimpse at the mysterious grading system for various foods (and may understand why food grades are no longer advertised unless they are Grade A). Many of this films messages are still poignant today, especially since supermarkets are designed to encourage impulse buying.

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Reviewer: JayKay49 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 24, 2016
Subject: Starts Out Sounding Like A Hockey Game
But promptly evolves into a educational trip to a small grocery store in the middle of flyover country back in a time when such places were devoid of moslems.

A 12 cent can of pork & beans?? Today that can would be $1.59. But so what. 37% of households have EBT cards and when you pay with a credit card, the pain only comes once a month instead of every time you go to the checkout.

Oysters. Ugh! The hungry sap tossed away half of his paycheck there. Oysters were not by any means cheap back then. That wife should have crowned him over the head with a pressure cooker lid.

I like this film. The points they make were then, and still are, pretty much valid. Only, today that small can would cost 3X the large one, per ounce (your minimum wage at work).
Reviewer: Froggievilleus - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 24, 2008
Subject: Why you never send a husband to do a housewife's job...
What an enjoyable trip down 1950s post-war lane. When was the last time you saw fresh lima beans and Grade C products in the grocery store?

Very interesting when the narrator basically said that the housewife who can preserve her own foods is practically worth no monetary value. The narrator at that point was a jerk.

One thing did strike me as curious... were leftovers a big no-no back in the 50's? Buying the larger can of beans would have sent the young couple to divorce court? Thank goodness Tupperware was just around the corner - whew!

And let's hear it for oysters, rutabegas, and crappy cake that turns into a brick - hooray!

Reviewer: unzar - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 9, 2007
Subject: Common Sense Approach to Food Buying
This short film is still applicable today as it runs down a few basic topics for your trip to the grocery store. Although the conundrum of whether to buy raw or pasturized milk is a thing of the past most of the other tips apply. I can't say I've ever seen "C" grade cans of beans; I guess they became the generic store brand.

In the price comparison I thought for sure they were going to pick the big can since it was cheaper in quantity but they fooled me and went for the more efficient serving. Rascals!

I hope Henry learned his lesson and doesn't buy any more turnip/rutebaga(what an odd looking vegetable, let's buy two!), oyster and cake meals for his wife to cook. What a shocker that they threw the cake out, in my house that would have been eaten first and the oysters tossed. The End.
Reviewer: Bob Capps - favoritefavoritefavorite - July 15, 2006
Subject: Food Shopping 101
Enjoyable short film about how to develop economic shopping habits. Interesting 1950 street scenes shot in Lawrence, Kansas. The food would look tastier if it had been filmed in color, but it was still fun. Great product placement for Birds Eye and Green Giant.
Reviewer: GE_Pretzel - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 3, 2006
Subject: A guide on how to guard against gastronomical gaffes at the grocery store
This simple home economics film offers sensible advice for housewives who have the taxing job of wading through the aisles at their local supermarket in order to make purchases that will satisfy their families while keeping the finances in the black. Viewers are told how to compare varying quantities of identical food items, evaluate product labels, observe seasonal price changes of fruits and vegetables, and make other important considerations. They are also strongly cautioned against impulse buying when a hasty shopper ends up presenting his wife at home with an undesirable meal consisting of rutabagas, stale cake, and a plethora of canned oysters. The film doesn't move into uncharted territory, but it's still a nice introduction.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 1, 2006
Subject: Mmm! An Oyster, Unidentified Vegetable and cake dinner!
Fun antiquated film teaching young women how to economize for the home when shopping for food. This film covers one of my favorite subjects in euphemeral land, which is food, and provides curiously fascinating glimpses do's and don'ts for the postwar shopper. Which canned product suits your family? Which meat is best for you? I was especially interesting in their definition of impulsive buying, which in my view differs from the way we know impulse buying now. Also love the way the film encourages houseives to experiment with cheaper forms of meat, which yes, meant Hamburger and weiners. Yum!
Reviewer: Retro Geek - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 5, 2005
Subject: Get the big one
Here's a rule of thumb for which size to buy - considering today's prices that is. If you happen to be at the market and the large can of beans is merely 22 cents - snap that baby up! In fact get two or three. Even if your family isn't large you can always pack up the rest for hubby's lunch the next day.

I enjoy watching these films. The prices for groceries back then would put Walmart to shame. It's a great flick for nostalgia value. Notice how the real message is to never send a husband to do the shopping without giving him a list. Oysters, rutabagas and stale cake...YUM!
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 16, 2004
Subject: Bring on the Oysters, Rutabaga, and Stale Cake!
Straightforward Centron home ec film about getting the most from your food dollar. This is fun because it shows lots of 50s food products and 50s supermarkets. And just because itÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs a home ec film, a genre I particularly enjoy. Also fun is the opening and closing theme music that sounds like Centron hired the organist at the local roller rink to do it. Beware of impulse buying, or you might end up like the bad example in this film, with a dinner consisting of oysters, rutabaga and stale cake.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
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